Luminous Landscape Forum

Raw & Post Processing, Printing => Printing: Printers, Papers and Inks => Topic started by: TylerB on November 01, 2007, 09:02:04 PM

Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: TylerB on November 01, 2007, 09:02:04 PM
This is of great interest to me, and others using 3rd party inks in their Epson printers. Epson is working toward a similar ruling for the large format cartridges as well. Using Jon's inks and 3rd party papers, I am currently making prints that in my opinion and that of others can not be touched by the quality of an out of the box Epson solution. I can only speak my own opinion. In fact, for my work, the solutions offered by the standard Epson inks and drivers yield unacceptable print quality FOR MY PURPOSES, you may have very different needs. There are others using MIS inks, Generations, and other setups for their own reasons this impacts as well. Beyond the printing issue, there are larger issues at play here too.
That these aggressive technology corps have impacted the marketplace such that smaller older traditional manufacturers can't compete makes this even more difficult, since most of those products are now gone.
If any of this seems relevant to you, please read Jon's post below, reproduced here with his permission.
Thanks,
Tyler




Who would have known that something like this could happen in America?

Unfortunately after reviewing nearly 500 pages of the court ruling as
well as the ITC ruling, it is clear that this affects every company in
the USA that imports either empty, filled, or CIS cartridges for
desktop printers. It does not affect large format.

EPSON set up this website to bring it to the attention of all
cartridge resellers: http://itc.epson.com/ (http://itc.epson.com/)

This ruling only affects the USA and is now dependent upon the
President of the USA, George W Bush, signing it into law - which is
expected. It affects all desktop cartridges which have a chip parallel
to the front of the cartridge but not the chip itself, the port
through which ink feeds into the ink stem of the printer, and the
device which holds the cartridge into the printer, also cartridges
with foam or a bladder/valve. In short it covers all 750 models of
EPSON products but only for the desktop. And yes CIS are affected. The
end result being none of these cartridges will be allowed into the USA
after the President signs it into law.

It does give one pause to think that patent law has become more
important in the USA than anti-trust law, and this may signal the
beginning of entities rushing patents not in order to make innovation
but rather to produce monopolies. It is a totally anti-competitive
action which has occurred and is unfortunately a symptom of what is
happening in the USA that affects people across all party lines. In
short it affects every average US citizen, whether they are a
photographer using monochromatic inks to replace the darkroom
materials which are no longer manufactured, a scrap-booker trying to
save money on their hobby, or the retiree that prints coffee mugs and
mouse pads with dye-sublimation inks to augment their social security.

Can you or anyone do anything?

The International Trade Commission was charged with the below burden
but may not have been presented with any evidence as to how it
affected the USA because only a single surviving Chinese company was
represented:

-------
"If the Commission contemplates some form of remedy, it must consider
the effects of that remedy upon the public interest. The factors the
Commission will consider include the effect that an exclusion order
and/or cease and desist orders would have on (1) the public health and
welfare, (2) competitive conditions in the U.S. economy, (3) U.S.
production of articles that are like or directly competitive with
those that are subject to investigation, and (4) U.S. consumers.

If the Commission orders some form of remedy, the President has 60
days to approve or disapprove the Commission's action."
-------

So, if you think that the your welfare is affected by the ITC decision
or that competitive conditions will be affected, etc, you should
quickly write the President of the United States and reference this on
both your envelope and the letterhead:

RE: International Trade Commission 337 Investigation No. 337-TA-565


Please write the President. You have only a short time to act.



start it thus:


------------

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

[enter date here]

RE: International Trade Commission 337 Investigation No. 337-TA-565

Dear Mr. President,

I am writing to you concerning the October 19, 2007 decision by the
International Trade Commission concerning the Section 337
Investigation in the Matter of Certain Ink Cartridges and Components
Thereof (Inv. No.337-TA-565). Their decision is now coming to you for
your approval, of which I hope you pause to reflect upon, and do not sign.

The ITC decision adversely affects me because...[ this is where you
write the because and you should speak of how it directly affects you
or your business.]

...and dont forget to sign it!

------------


If you know someone high up on the media chain - make a phone call to
them. Its a very newsworthy story that is being kept very quiet right
now, probably so as not to upset what is seen as the inevitable
signing into law of this historic ruling on consumables. Anti-trust
law used to prevent this from happening. I can only imagine what other
foreign and usa corporations will also attempt to monopolize a piece
of the American economy.

OPTIONS:

1) We recommend for our desktop users to look online for a supplier of
CIS systems so they can be prepared to switch to bottles.

2) InkjetMall will be contacting its customers with a special offer to
encourage them to upgrade to large format systems which are not
affected by this ruling.

3) Save your current carts and learn how to take a syringe, draw a
vacuum and refill from a bottle. A chip resetter available on the
internet will refresh the ink memory chip. It may be necessary to
temporarily tape over the ink outlet port in order to draw a
sufficient vacuum.

Of course, our European customers will be able to continue purchasing
our desktop cartridges from our European resellers, but our European
resellers will not be allowed to sell them to USA customers according
to this ruling so this is not an option for USA customers. We can
continue to purchase and fill inks for desktop in our overseas
location for our European customers.



best regards,

Jon Cone
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Geoff Wittig on November 01, 2007, 09:36:16 PM
Well.
I am sympathetic to Mr. Cone's frustration with this grotesquely anti-competitive monopoly-protection legislation. But does anyone seriously think that a letter-writing campaign will affect any decision made by "Mr. 24%"? The most corrupt, pro-business, pro-monopoly, anti-competitive, anti-art president in American history?

Just sayin.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: mcfoto on November 01, 2007, 10:25:39 PM
Hi
Is this just for Epson? If so I am glad I switched to Canon 2 years ago. For our Canon i9950 I refill the cartridges with Jet Tec ink & the printer works great. It is a lot less expensive & less wasteful. For the iPF5000 we only use the Canon inks due to the quality plus the fact I don't think there are any 3rd party inks for this printer?

Thanks Denis
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Jack Varney on November 01, 2007, 10:56:28 PM
I am no Epson advocate nor am I so wealthy that competetivly priced products are of no interest but if Epson requested a patent and it was issued and another firm copied the patent, is this not patent infringment?

Tyler perhaps you can clarify why it is not an infringement. Then your statement-

"It is a totally anti-competitive action which has occurred and is unfortunately a symptom of what is happening in the USA that affects people across all party lines."

will become meaningful.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Roscolo on November 01, 2007, 11:38:27 PM
I'll add this to the rather long list of reasons my studio (and many others) stopped using Epson products.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: adiallo on November 02, 2007, 12:25:01 AM
Quote
Tyler perhaps you can clarify why it is not an infringement. Then your statement-

"It is a totally anti-competitive action which has occurred and is unfortunately a symptom of what is happening in the USA that affects people across all party lines."

will become meaningful.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=150169\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Jack,
That stmt was from Jon Cone. Tyler is just copying his original post (with permission). As for the infringement issue, we're talking essentially about a chip glued to a plastic cartridge. What gets under many peoples' skin is that long-standing anti-Monopoly laws in the US prevent a company from mandating you use only their consumables/parts in their hardware. The analogy would be you can only use a Ford brand muffler when you take your car to the repair shop. Or how about Canon saying you must only use their raw conversion software for CR2 files? I remember the concern by Schewe et al about proprietary Raw formats and future incompatability. And this issue has a much more immediate impact to users who for image quality, cost, or both are using non-Epson inks, including bulk CIS kits.
The shift to digital technology has brought in general, a more open approach to innovation and compatability, compared with the traditional film photography culture. But this is a case where Epson is simply looking to make more money on ink sales.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Schewe on November 02, 2007, 03:12:48 AM
Quote
But this is a case where Epson is simply looking to make more money on ink sales.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=150183\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Actually no...if you understand IP law, the holder of a patent MUST defend it or loose it...if Epson doesn't defend it's patents on it's ink delivery systems then they will be in the situation where the patents can be held to be invalid.

It's rather ironic that photographers, who benefit from copyright protection seem so willing to blow patents (the other form of intellectual property protected in the US) out of the water when it's not convenient to them...and make no mistake, this has NOTHING to do with undocumented, proprietary file formats for raw...neither Nikon nor Canon have ever claimed patents on their file formats (only the analog to digital systems in their cameras) and neither have ever gone after anybody (that I'm aware of) for reverse engineering nor decoding of those formats...

The matter is far more complicated than Jon Cone has made out...and if he's been using ink carts that violate Epson's patents, I can see why he's leading an attempt at trying to stop this ITC action. I can also see that users who like 3rd party inks might be upset, but if you read further you'll find that Epson main complaint isn't at people such as Cone (although he's been caught in the fight) but at low-end replacement ink suppliers and re-fillers who often sell shoddy and incompatible inks and carts that actually cause damage to the printers they are used in and then get off scott free when users complain to Epson about printer failing...

I would expect that legitimate ink manufactures will now have to use approved ink carts that have been licensed by Epson to ensure that the patents are respected (and that the carts and ink delivery system meet a minimum criteria). It might have an impact on pricing...but if the reason you are using 3rd party inks is for improved printing quality for certain types of work, I suspect the impact won't be a big issue...more at issue is the time it will take to work the licensing out. However, if the reason you are using 3rd party inks is simply price, I suspect that will be off the table.

So, is the copyright laws in the US anti-competitive too? That's what the people who rip MP3's of CD seem to claim...as a photographer who believes strongly in the importance of copyright protection for artists, I don't agree. Be careful what you ask for...
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Roscolo on November 02, 2007, 11:38:38 AM
Quote
So, is the copyright laws in the US anti-competitive too? That's what the people who rip MP3's of CD seem to claim...as a photographer who believes strongly in the importance of copyright protection for artists, I don't agree. Be careful what you ask for...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=150193\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

This is OT, but I'll put my 2 cents worth in. Copyright as we have known it is dead. This is true in the "real world" in practice, whether you are a musician, photographer, software company, etc. I have come full circle on this issue as I have seen the great success of the open source model. I'm viewing this page on Firefox browser (free open source), and my favorite online photo gallery software is JAlbum (free open source). I'm a little fond of my installation of Linux Ubuntu as well (free open source). I could list, oh, at least 40-50 more.

Some of my favorite music involves sampling of other music. And I believe one can make completely legitimate new works of art by using elements from other sources, like say photos found online or in publications, and reassembling them in new ways.

A few years ago I decided to embrace the new approach. I'm a photographer; Customers have violated photographer's copyrights since the photographic process was invented. If one ever sought to enforce it, often it was an "easy win," but one would find themselves with less customers: the one you made the claim against and ten others who didn't want to hire a litigious photographer. Now my work is rights inclusive and priced accordingly. I am paid once up front. This approach has not hurt my business.

Would I take action against someone who copied my image and used it directly for profit, i.e. they signed their name to it and presented it as theirs? Probably, unless they had some conceptual artistic intention. That said, my feelings now regarding copyright are: If you don't want to share it, you probably shouldn't create it. It works for me, commercially and artistically; I understand this approach may not work for everyone. I think everyone benefits more from the sharing of ideas, and the greater good is more important than protecting the "right" of an individual or small group to line their pockets.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Schewe on November 02, 2007, 12:53:14 PM
Quote
I think everyone benefits more from the sharing of ideas, and the greater good is more important than protecting the "right" of an individual or small group to line their pockets.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=150256\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well, you are certainly welcome to your opinion but if you copy one of my images (or break into my house and steal my personal property) I'll bring charges.

And copyright AIN'T about limiting the sharing of ideas...ideas can't be copyrighted, only physical executions. And if you know anything about the history of copyrights (Queen Ann's law) you would know that it's designed to let the "little guy" have first crack at benefiting from their own intellectual endeavors.

Even open source projects are protected by the GPL that contributors agree to. And it's not at all the same as licensing images to be used commercially. If you were a commercial photographer, I suspect your "tune" would be a bit different...
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Geoff Wittig on November 02, 2007, 01:04:20 PM
Cool! A philosophical debate!

I think it should first be agreed that patent protection and copywrite protection are two similar but distinct entities. Copywrite protects a reproducible intangible product such as recorded music, a photographic image or the printed word; it's the stream of 1's and zero's making up the "product" that is protected. Patent instead protects a unique idea or product from knock-off reproduction for a defined period, thereby rewarding the inventor for his/her ingenuity, and benefiting society at large by encouraging similar innovations. This is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution because the founding fathers comprehended the utility of rewarding innovation. However...the founding fathers also stipulated a firm limit on the duration of patents, to facilitate wider distribution of such advances over time.

Epson's patent on their "chipped" cartridges utterly violates the spirit of patent law, while adhering to the letter of it to "bake in" profits on ink sales. Is there anyone on this forum (other perhaps than Mr. Schewe) who sincerely believes that chipped ink carts were developed by Epson purely to improve printer function? That locking out third-party ink sources and preserving a monopoly in inks (which Epson Inc. itself buys from low-cost 3rd party suppliers) isn't the actual goal?

Mr. Cone performed an enormous service for the photographic community by pioneering a system of multiple dilutions of grey/black inks to facilitate black & white printing. Epson evidently chose to ignore him until they realized there might actually be a market for B&W printing; now that they have their K3 system to sell, they're trying to squash any competition with a legal sledgehammer rather than compete on quality.

Just sayin.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Roscolo on November 02, 2007, 02:26:43 PM
Quote
Well, you are certainly welcome to your opinion but if you copy one of my images (or break into my house and steal my personal property) I'll bring charges.

....

Even open source projects are protected by the GPL that contributors agree to. And it's not at all the same as licensing images to be used commercially. If you were a commercial photographer, I suspect your "tune" would be a bit different...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=150271\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That is sort of my point. Your images have almost certainly been copied if they are in print or online, and your copyright violated, but you just don't know about it. Someone in Bangladesh, or New York City could be incorporating one of your images into an artistic collage (or a company proposal) and you will simply never know about it. That's what I mean when I say copyright as we have known it is dead in practice if not on paper. You'll "bring charges," and you may even win a judgment, but you will spend a fortune in the process and will likely never collect. For me, it is better to adaptto the new than hold onto the past. For me, the positives of the new outweigh the negatives. It's not unlike someone trying to hold on to shooting film vs. digital - the positives of the new outweigh the negatives (yep, there's a pun there). As an aside I'll note I'm still shooting some film, but only for the res. I get from 4x5 scans.

And I am a commercial photographer for 17 years now. Architectural and editorial. My artwork definitely takes priority, but my approach towards copyright hasn't hurt my business. Frankly, it simplifies things to be paid up front. I do have contracts that state what the usage is for, and because most of my clients seem to appreciate a forthright photographer, they have for the most part been forthright in stating what the image is to be used for and I price my upfront fee accordingly. Sure, there are a few bad eggs, but there are always a few bad eggs everywhere in every business, photographers certainly not excluded. Indeed, a significant percentage of jobs (particularly architectural jobs) these days come with paperwork attached dictating that the photography is "work for hire." It's quite alright if one doesn't sign - one just doesn't get the job. As I said, enforcing copyright in the past just cost me customers and a litigious reputation is not a good one to have.

I think photographers will have to adapt to changing attitudes about copyright. Adapt or die. In this case it may be, "Adapt, or hire a herd of lawyers.", but I don't think that's workable. One need only look at the RIAA and their countless frivolous lawsuits draining their resources and clogging the courts. Are they able to turn back the clock? No. Are they keeping their customers by suing them? No. Are they winning new customers by being litigious? No. Most importantly, are they adapting with a new business model? No (although many individual artists are adapting and proving that a musician may not need a big corporate record company to be successful...imagine that!)It's a brave new world. I like it. Technology and sharing of ideas is doing far more to allow the "little guy" to benefit from his intellectual endeavors than enforcement of copyrights. Just think if Google had to pay licensing fees for images that appear in searches (as some have attempted to enforce) how many "little guy" photographer's work would never be seen or heard. We would only see the images from the wealthy photogs and stock agencies who could afford it...and methinks the wealthy likes to play by those rules where they are the only players! Careful what you wish for indeed!
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Schewe on November 02, 2007, 03:22:46 PM
Quote
Epson evidently chose to ignore him until they realized there might actually be a market for B&W printing; now that they have their K3 system to sell, they're trying to squash any competition with a legal sledgehammer rather than compete on quality.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=150273\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Have you actually read the ITC findings or are you just piling on and letting your own perspective guide your impressions. Epson couldn't care less about Jon Cone other than the fact that a healthy 3rd party environment for inks and papers has helped Epson in the marketplace. No, what Epson is doing (aside from the mandatory defense of their IP to avoid losing it) is to reduce the amount of unfair competition from generally oriental (China and Korea) dumping of cheap and often incompatible inks on the marketplace and causing problems for consumers (and Epson).

I guess you haven't heard about the practice of bootlegging and counterfeiting that China seems to like to engage in and the product recalls caused by dangerous contamination such as lead and other unsafe materials being used in product destined for US markets. Yes, the companies that are buying the cheap products must share some of the blame but it seems just a bit odd that China manufacturers keep engaging in illegal or unsafe practices even down to having slave labor camps in remote areas of the country. Some skeptics may actually assume China is engaging in economic warfare (something I wouldn't be at all surprised about).

I'm not saying that Cone is in this same league...he has developed useful 3rd party solutions but his business model was not specifically targeted in the ITC findings. To Epson, Cone inks are a blip compared to the dumping of foreign made inks and carts being sold as replacement inks or refilled carts. That's the target of Epson's efforts.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Roscolo on November 02, 2007, 04:10:01 PM
Quote
Yes, the companies that are buying the cheap products must share some of the blame but it seems just a bit odd that China manufacturers keep engaging in illegal or unsafe practices even down to having slave labor camps in remote areas of the country. Some skeptics may actually assume China is engaging in economic warfare (something I wouldn't be at all surprised about).


[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=150292\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Kind of makes one wonder where Epson's genuine products are manufactured? Hmmm

There is no shortage of companies having all sorts of products manufactured in China (not just counterfeit) to take advantage of ultra cheap labor and nonexistent environmental protections.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Schewe on November 02, 2007, 04:33:12 PM
Quote
Kind of makes one wonder where Epson's genuine products are manufactured? Hmmm
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=150300\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Most of the consumer inks come from Japan or Mexico. I think some stuff comes from Taiwan as well. But the differences are considerable since the manufactures supplying Epson must meet Epson's specs (something the knockoffs don't have to do) and meet Epson's quality assurance so that Epson can stand behind their warrantees, something that the cheapo knockoffs don't worry about-which is Epson real motive behind all this...yes, they don't like loosing sales to 3rd parties but that's biz. Where Epson gets screwed is where unkowning consumers are buying cheap knockoff inks thinking there's no difference from the Epson brand ink...until their printers clog beyond fixing and expect Epson to honor their warrantees and fix or replace the printers. That is a hard cost of doing business that is caused by the use of cheap knockoff 3rd party inks. And don't think that that sort of 3rd party ink is equal to or better than the Epson ink...it ain't.

There were reports that both the Russian Mafia (as well as other organized crime groups) were doing a lot of the "Genuine Epson Ink" cart forgeries last year in Europe-even down to the forged Epson logo and hologram. Yeah, I doubt that the ITC findings will do much to detere the Russian mob, but you have to understand exactly what Epson is fighting with these efforts...it ain't to put Jon Cone out of the biz.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Roscolo on November 02, 2007, 04:40:55 PM
Reminds of Chrysler transmissions. From 1990 - 1995, Chrysler minivans had all kinds of problems with transmissions (probably should have been a recall, but that's another story). Anyway, Chrysler was adamant about only using Chrysler ATF+3 (and now ATF+4) transmission oil in their transmissions. So much so that if you presented your Chrysler to a dealer with a transmission problem, they would first draw a sample from your transmission and if it wasn't ATF+3, they would not honor your warranty.

Sounds like Epson needs to do the same thing if their motive is to protect themselves from 3rd party ink users who are having problems they expect Epson to fix.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Misirlou on November 02, 2007, 06:29:49 PM
Quote
Well.
I am sympathetic to Mr. Cone's frustration with this grotesquely anti-competitive monopoly-protection legislation. But does anyone seriously think that a letter-writing campaign will affect any decision made by "Mr. 24%"? The most corrupt, pro-business, pro-monopoly, anti-competitive, anti-art president in American history?

Just sayin.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=150149\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Nice observation. Blame it on the president, despite the fact that it clearly originated in and was passed by a democrat controlled congress. Are we to believe Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are big fans of refilled Epson print cartridges?
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Mark D Segal on November 04, 2007, 03:43:37 PM
Let's go back to basics and keep the issues sorted-out. The primary purpose of patent legislation is to grant a period of commerial protection for recuperating the front-end costs and risks of innovation. In that respect, its fundamental purpose is anti-competitive for a reason - whether you agree with it or not is a separate issue, but that's the reason. Patents have a defined life-period in order to not frustrate the benefits of competition over the long term.

There is nothing illegal about companies designing product systems optimized between the hardware and the consumables and taking out patents to protect those systems. That doesn't prevent other people from developing consumables that work with the hardware, provided they don't infringe Epson's patents. If the patent applications in the first place embedded illegal practices it must be presumed that the patents would not have been granted in their current form, or that the patent process was flawed or corrupted, a rather strong assumption.

Any company is entitled (and as Jeff pointed out indeed required) to seek legal protection from patent infringement. Once a body like the ITC has made a determination of the kind that it has, the only serious recourse is to appeal their decision through the channels provided in the law. Based on my previous experience with regulatory due process, I would think to do that you would have to identify prospectively robust grounds for appeal - for example whether the ITC committed specific errors of law in their decision or its application.

I'm not an American, but I lived there long enough and I can't imagine a letter-writing campaign to the President of the USA of the kind recommended above achieving anything - you'd first have to assume that any of these letters would peep through even the first level of filtering, and that assumption may be quite a stretch. At the very least, from the perspective of existing law and due process, you would have to argue a major failure to justify Executive intervention at this stage. I don't see how just saying it affects you adversely - even many thousands of such letters - would get anywhere. All kinds of perfectly legal things happen all the time that affect all manner of people adversely - but they still happen and there is no intervention from the Executive level.  I don't want to sound like a wet blanket here - maybe I do, but I think this is the reality. We'll get cheaper ink cartridges if people can design them without infringing Epson's patents, or if some legal process were to determine that their patents are somehow illegal.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: TylerB on November 05, 2007, 03:11:38 AM
For some this is just interesting conversation or an issue of political principal, or whatever. I don't really intend to address all those posts. On the off chance anyone is truly interested here are a few more thoughts.
First of all, over on the Black and white list-
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/Digital...dWhiteThePrint/ (http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/DigitalBlackandWhiteThePrint/)
Paul Roark, a former FTC antitrust enforcer and developer of many ink sets for MIS, has posted a great deal about the decision and it's implications. More importantly, advice on who and what to write that could have some impact.
It'd be somewhat silly to copy all those posts over to here, so please take a look there if even slightly inclined, it's been an ongoing thread.
There are also additional informative posts from Jon Cone.

The suggestion here that Epson, to protect it's patents, has no choice but to vigorously pursue any and all potential infringement, and in the next breath suggest they would somehow turn a blind eye to Cone is clearly bunk.

I think we all agree patents are important. With virtually unlimited resources though, they can clearly be used as bludgeons in the marketplace. To suggest photographers interested in the issue of copyright and intellectual property are disingenuous in criticizing This action is missing the point.
I may hold copyright on an image I made in ancient history, for the long gone Aldus annual report, of tools projected on a hand. But to then attempt to patent the practice projecting images on a hand would only be done to make it so I would be the one and only possible provider for that approach to photography. It's clearly just to eliminate competition where there previously was competition, and becomes an anti-trust issue.
The protection of anti-trust is subject to political fashion, for lack of a better word, and we see a different approach to it in the EU than we do right now in the US.
This has nothing to do with patents or copyrights, it has to do with monopolies and huge trusts.
Until the chipped carts, and now the protection of the IDEA of chipped carts, third parties provided the innovation. Somehow Epson prospered. We all love their hardware, no question.

It may seem silly to some to get this worked up about ink. But I want to continue to make my art how I choose, and do whatever I want with tools I paid for and own. There are less and less materials options available to us today. I also am weary of continually doing nothing, as every little thing that matters much somehow diminishes, with the depressing assumption there's nothing to be done.
Tyler
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Mark D Segal on November 05, 2007, 07:11:24 AM
Anti-Trust legislation and patent Law are two different things aimed at different issues. As I said yesterday, patent law protects inventions/intellectual property from competition for a period of time, whereas anti-trust law circumscribes business practices which frustrate competition. This may sound contradictory, but once we understand the basis, the objectives and the specific behaviours underlying each of these avenues of legislation it isn't.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Schewe on November 05, 2007, 11:16:14 AM
Quote
This has nothing to do with patents or copyrights, it has to do with monopolies and huge trusts.
Until the chipped carts, and now the protection of the IDEA of chipped carts, third parties provided the innovation. Somehow Epson prospered. We all love their hardware, no question.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=150638\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Uh, no...you STILL don't get it. Your example regarding copyright is not applicable (it ain't even close) and you STILL don't understand what it is the Epson patented...it ain't the "idea of chipped carts" and if you think 3rd parties provided "innovation" you got that wrong too.

With intellectual property, the creators have the right to exploit the property first and foremost. Without that right, creativity would be hindered and thus progress. You might not LIKE the practice but it's stood the test of time in the US Constitution...in fact, in the original Constitution, the only "rights" mentioned are the rights of creators to benefit from their creations...remember Ben Franklin? He was an inventor and worked to get that language into the Constitution. The Bill of Rights was an amendment added much later.

This is ALL about the right of an creator to benefit from their creations...
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Roscolo on November 05, 2007, 11:47:42 AM
Want a simple solution? Do what I did: Dump Epson.
Problem solved, 'nuff said.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Mark D Segal on November 05, 2007, 12:23:35 PM
Quote
Want a simple solution? Do what I did: Dump Epson.
Problem solved, 'nuff said.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=150703\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well, it isn't "nuff said". What makes you think it will be any cheaper to print at equivalent quality using Canon and HP inks and media? Have you studied the alternatives using a reliable comparative data base?

The most recent HP cartridge I bought for my HP BusinessJet printer was about $48.50 before taxes for 28 ml of DYE ink. That's $1.73 per ml. It's made in Singapore. The box says "Not licensed for modification". The cartridge has the insignia "PP" for "Patent Pending" and says "For single use only". It is also chipped, so the printer verifies it for compatibility on installation.

The cost of PIGMENT photographic quality ink for my Epson 3800 is 71 cents per ml and for my Epson 4800 49 cents per ml.

Then of course the amount of ink per print needs to be factored-in on a  comparable basis. That means developing a data base for all comparable machines in the comparison operating over a period of at least 4 to 6 months. Once you've done that come back and tell us which is the most economic. Then it will be "nuff said".
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Roscolo on November 05, 2007, 02:31:25 PM
I pay $50 for 130 ml of ink for my HP z3100. That's about 39 cents / ml. Tempting to just say "nuff said" right there! But I'm having to do a Windows reinstall, so I've got time to kill. I pass those ink costs on to my customers. With Epson, I wasted a lot of ink clearing the Epson clogs. Haven't had that problem with the z, so while I would always be happy to pay less, I don't feel HP is sticking it to me the way I always felt Epson was sticking it to me. But those were the days when HP and Canon didn't really have any real competition to challenge Epson. Thankfully, those days are over.

I certainly have no problem with people using 3rd party ink or chipped cartridges or whatever. Back in the day (before I went wide format) I had a Niagara CIS on a 1280. A maintenance headache, but more time than money = tolerate the headache. Glad those days are gone. Epson should change their business model from, "we're the only game in town, you have to use our carts" to something more workable. To do otherwise will only send more people to the competition, especially now that what the competition offers is at least as good as Epson, frankly, the z is better on several fronts FOR ME (don't need another pissing contest on this thread). Instead, Epson is wasting time in the courts. This time and energy would be better spent addressing WHY customers are so eager to get 3rd party carts, pirated carts, or whatever.

Has any company ever tried charging more for their printer up front and then dumped as much money as Epson has dumped in the courts on marketing how incredible cheap the carts for that printer are? Who knows...it might work...as I think every one is long since wise to the "cheap or free printer, we kill you with the ink carts" gimmick.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Mark D Segal on November 05, 2007, 05:10:36 PM
HP itself sells those cartsd for 75 dollars, which is 58 cents/ml, i.e. within the range of Epson. How muich per ml? Then print heads are consumables on the z3100. Question is: ink per print including clogging. My experince with Epson printers is that when they're new they clog very little and as they age they clog more. I have a very good, transparent data track on how much ink gets used for cleaning versus making prints with the Epson printers I've been using. Time is needed to build this up so we have a representative sample of behaviour yielding reliable cost information. The z3100 is relatively new on the market and I don't know users tracking its cost performance - though they musts exist as this machine is primarily targeted at commercial users.

Anyhow, this time, the basic point you are making is sensible. The fine-art printer market is really opening-up which is good for us consumers, because it will allow competition - finally - to discipline costs, performance and quality. This will be a far more effective vehicle opeating in our favour than useless letter-writing campaigns and rear-guard battles over the justification of patent law.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Avalan on November 05, 2007, 09:00:35 PM
Mark

Prices and the availability for all the inks (Epson, Canon, HP) varies big time, depending on the country and the supplier. Usually the best prices could be found in the US.

The price for the HP Vivera 130mil cartridges for a single pack in the US is $65, and under$100 for the twin pack and probably can be found even a bit lower if you dig more.

As far as just the ink price is  concerned, HP has the lowest price per mil, if bought twin packs in the States.
And there so many other factors when it comes to evaluate the inks as we know :

For the longevity, HP is the big winner. As twice as archival.
other issues:
How much ink will be used for nozzle checks and how much ink will be used per square foot on a given paper and a given printer? And bottom line, which printer is the most cost effective for ink usage in the long run? Have not seen any comparison data about this.

Which ink gives a better color for color or black&white etc? There have been lots of reports and the bottom line is  which one works better for you.


And thanks for all of the posts in this thread. I found them very interesting to read and informative, regardless of different stands on the discussed issues.

Regards - Avalan
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: rdonson on November 05, 2007, 10:08:40 PM
Quote
I pay $50 for 130 ml of ink for my HP z3100. That's about 39 cents / ml. Tempting to just say "nuff said" right there! But I'm having to do a Windows reinstall, so I've got time to kill. I pass those ink costs on to my customers. With Epson, I wasted a lot of ink clearing the Epson clogs. Haven't had that problem with the z, so while I would always be happy to pay less, I don't feel HP is sticking it to me the way I always felt Epson was sticking it to me. But those were the days when HP and Canon didn't really have any real competition to challenge Epson. Thankfully, those days are over.

I certainly have no problem with people using 3rd party ink or chipped cartridges or whatever. Back in the day (before I went wide format) I had a Niagara CIS on a 1280. A maintenance headache, but more time than money = tolerate the headache. Glad those days are gone. Epson should change their business model from, "we're the only game in town, you have to use our carts" to something more workable. To do otherwise will only send more people to the competition, especially now that what the competition offers is at least as good as Epson, frankly, the z is better on several fronts FOR ME (don't need another pissing contest on this thread). Instead, Epson is wasting time in the courts. This time and energy would be better spent addressing WHY customers are so eager to get 3rd party carts, pirated carts, or whatever.

Has any company ever tried charging more for their printer up front and then dumped as much money as Epson has dumped in the courts on marketing how incredible cheap the carts for that printer are? Who knows...it might work...as I think every one is long since wise to the "cheap or free printer, we kill you with the ink carts" gimmick.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=150735\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I think you've missed Jeff Schewe's point.  HP and Canon will defend their patents every bit as rigorously as Epson if they have to.  Not to do so in the corporate world is malfeasance.  This isn't about getting cheaper ink.  Its about defending your intellectual property.  Something that shareholders value and hold executives responsible for.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Roscolo on November 06, 2007, 12:46:40 AM
Quote
I think you've missed Jeff Schewe's point.  HP and Canon will defend their patents every bit as rigorously as Epson if they have to.  Not to do so in the corporate world is malfeasance.  This isn't about getting cheaper ink.  Its about defending your intellectual property.  Something that shareholders value and hold executives responsible for.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=150820\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I understand the point. And, like the RIAA "sue 'em til they bleed" analogy I listed earlier, overzealous enforcement of one's "rights" might do more damage to one's business than adapting to changing environments.

Again, why is there a strong demand for 3rd party inks, carts, etc.? And how can a company (Epson, HP, Canon, doesn't matter) stem that demand? Spend company time and money in court enforcing patents? So they put a dent in the "legitimate" 3rd party ink /cart makers. They aren't going to touch the pirated versions of the same. They're called "pirates" for a reason.

Here's a novel idea: put the 3rd party ink / cart suppliers out of business by competing on price and quality.

We all know the real motivation here: For years printer makers (Epson being the king) enjoyed sticking it to consumers charging some really outrageous prices for carts (speaking of court cases, let's not forget that Epson-ware would tell you a cart was "empty" when it was sometimes 30% - 50% full...hello!) to the point they took this scheme, er "business model" for granted...."Fat and happy," one might say.

The reality is 3rd party cart makers / ink suppliers will survive, even if only in pirate form. Energy wasted on clogging the courts is better spent developing new, improved business models that respond to a changing environment. Epson isn't doing that and that has only helped open the door for HP and Canon. Maybe we should all thank the Epson legal team for helping bring us some choices!

One can also argue that more wide format printers being sold for less, with larger, far more economical ink carts was hastened by the widespread use of bottled ink CIS systems and 3rd party cart systems. So maybe we also need to thank the "pirates" for helping bring us some choices!

I focus on Epson because they were the clear leader in photo printing for years. I think history will show that Epson blew some real opportunities to really  keep market share...focusing on trying to grab all the cats and put them back in the bag by enforcing patents clearly wasn't / isn't a winning strategy. Greed often proves to be expensive.

I've got all kinds of time to philosophize because doing a clean install of XP and Vista.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Ernst Dinkla on November 06, 2007, 03:25:34 AM
Quote
Mark

As far as just the ink price is  concerned, HP has the lowest price per mil, if bought twin packs in the States.
And there so many other factors when it comes to evaluate the inks as we know :

For the longevity, HP is the big winner. As twice as archival.
other issues:
How much ink will be used for nozzle checks and how much ink will be used per square foot on a given paper and a given printer? And bottom line, which printer is the most cost effective for ink usage in the long run? Have not seen any comparison data about this.

Regards - Avalan
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=150817\")

Bought in similar sized packages say 250 ml the ink price per ml is the same for all three manufacturers. At least that's what I see in the German market. That list has been in some of my messages. It really comes down to ink economy on the printer and HP scores best of the three. There has been a thread on this list about Canon's periodical cleaning and I was surprised what went down the drain that way.

Ernst Dinkla

try: [a href=\"http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/]http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/[/url]
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Mark D Segal on November 06, 2007, 07:38:25 AM
Quote
Bought in similar sized packages say 250 ml the ink price per ml is the same for all three manufacturers. At least that's what I see in the German market. That list has been in some of my messages. It really comes down to ink economy on the printer and HP scores best of the three. There has been a thread on this list about Canon's periodical cleaning and I was surprised what went down the drain that way.

Ernst Dinkla

try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=150858\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Ernst, I'd like to get clarity on some of what you are saying here. It is correct that price per ml varies inversely with the volume of the container. HP USA website only sells 130 ml single or twinpack. Thier website was working poorly yesterday and I ddn't get the twinpack price; now I see the single price is what I quoted yesterday, and the twinpack (2*130) USD 119, bringing the price to 46 ml - just a bit less than for my Epson 4800 in 220 ml configuration. There are no 250 ml cartridges for either Epson or HP.

More interesting of course, as you mention, is how the ink gets used. I did see that thread on Canon's ink use for cleaning and it is high, but so is Epson's - in fact very high on my 4000 and the 4800 once they get on in life. You say HP scores best of the three. Do you have any real-life user data (i.e. not official statements from HP) on the amount of ink consumed for printing, cleaning and maintenance on the HP z series? I'd be very interested to see that.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Ernst Dinkla on November 06, 2007, 09:07:16 AM
Quote
Ernst, I'd like to get clarity on some of what you are saying here. It is correct that price per ml varies inversely with the volume of the container. HP USA website only sells 130 ml single or twinpack. Thier website was working poorly yesterday and I ddn't get the twinpack price; now I see the single price is what I quoted yesterday, and the twinpack (2*130) USD 119, bringing the price to 46 ml - just a bit less than for my Epson 4800 in 220 ml configuration. There are no 250 ml cartridges for either Epson or HP.

More interesting of course, as you mention, is how the ink gets used. I did see that thread on Canon's ink use for cleaning and it is high, but so is Epson's - in fact very high on my 4000 and the 4800 once they get on in life. You say HP scores best of the three. Do you have any real-life user data (i.e. not official statements from HP) on the amount of ink consumed for printing, cleaning and maintenance on the HP z series? I'd be very interested to see that.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=150875\")

I used the 250 ml number as a rough average for the twin pack 130 ml of HP and the single Epson cart of 220 ml and the Canon 330 ml cart. The last was more expensive in the list that I had but from other sources I get the information that the price is now about 0.30 Euro a ML (without VAT) as well. The companies keep a close eye on ml ink prices per cart size it seems. Your 0.46 $ roughly corresponds to that number if the Euro<>Dollar rate is counted in. Above the 330 ML prices do not drop much per ml, the ca 700 ml carts for Canon and HP at least not and after some alarming messages here I checked the Epson 11880 carts and I thought they were the same (if memory is correct).

[a href=\"http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=20402&pid=147495&mode=threaded&show=&st=20&#entry147495]http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....20&#entry147495[/url].
As written the Canon price should be lower now.

Point is you see no drop in the Z3100 cart contents according to the Printer Utility after a week idleness but with the printer on. There's no chipped waste box to replace when full either. Possibly we get a utility call one day from the printer to replace a waste box internally and an expensive service man has to deal with that but a good friend with a Canon iPF9000 is on his 4th chipped waste box and his printer is maybe 2 months older than the Z3100 that is here since early March 2007. So no figures but circumstantial evidence only. If someone has a solution to measure it correctly I'm all ears. Next time before I go on holidays I could weigh the carts and do the same when I'm back but that's the best I can offer.


Ernst Dinkla

try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/)
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Roscolo on November 06, 2007, 10:16:37 AM
Quote
Ernst, I'd like to get clarity on some of what you are saying here. It is correct that price per ml varies inversely with the volume of the container. HP USA website only sells 130 ml single or twinpack. Thier website was working poorly yesterday and I ddn't get the twinpack price; now I see the single price is what I quoted yesterday, and the twinpack (2*130) USD 119, bringing the price to 46 ml - just a bit less than for my Epson 4800 in 220 ml configuration. There are no 250 ml cartridges for either Epson or HP.

More interesting of course, as you mention, is how the ink gets used. I did see that thread on Canon's ink use for cleaning and it is high, but so is Epson's - in fact very high on my 4000 and the 4800 once they get on in life. You say HP scores best of the three. Do you have any real-life user data (i.e. not official statements from HP) on the amount of ink consumed for printing, cleaning and maintenance on the HP z series? I'd be very interested to see that.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=150875\")


Price for twin-packs of z3100 ink is $99.99 from [a href=\"http://www.itsupplies.com/cgi-bin/itsupplies.storefront/473083e100d8ed6227404200c14c0654/UserTemplate/19]IT Supplies[/url]. Shipping is free, so each 130ml cart is $50.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: rdonson on November 06, 2007, 10:20:07 AM
$97.99 from Atlex (http://www.atlex.com/hp/designjet_cartridges.htm)
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Ernst Dinkla on November 06, 2007, 10:38:23 AM
Quote
You say HP scores best of the three. Do you have any real-life user data (i.e. not official statements from HP) on the amount of ink consumed for printing, cleaning and maintenance on the HP z series? I'd be very interested to see that.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=150875\")


There's this review that says a few ML per week for head control:

[a href=\"http://www.dpandi.com/essays/saffir1.html]http://www.dpandi.com/essays/saffir1.html[/url]


Ernst Dinkla

try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/)
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: jjj on November 06, 2007, 10:46:19 AM
Quote
Where Epson gets screwed is where unkowning consumers are buying cheap knockoff inks thinking there's no difference from the Epson brand ink...until their printers clog beyond fixing and expect Epson to honor their warrantees and fix or replace the printers. That is a hard cost of doing business that is caused by the use of cheap knockoff 3rd party inks. And don't think that that sort of 3rd party ink is equal to or better than the Epson ink...it ain't.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=150302\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I've had problems with clogging on Epson printers and I've only bought Epson inks from reputable places like Amazon or Staples, so unless they are selling counterfeit inks.... Epson inks/printers are not that wonderful.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: jing q on November 06, 2007, 11:07:59 AM
Ink costs are crazy.
I think that epson has a right to defend their patents, but should also see that the huge interest in 3rd party inks is an obvious sign that people aren't very keen on paying so much money for ink...even if the ink is that great and archival (how many people print stuff for archival image purposes?)

Perhaps they can release two lines of ink, cheapass one for cheapass unimportant printing, and their high quality regular ones where image quality and archival needs count.

i'm a fan of canon and epson printers, the colours on their high end printers are beyond what I can achieve with c-prints alot of times...
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Mark D Segal on November 06, 2007, 11:09:00 AM
Quote
I've had problems with clogging on Epson printers and I've only bought Epson inks from reputable places like Amazon or Staples, so unless they are selling counterfeit inks.... Epson inks/printers are not that wonderful.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=150904\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

In the hands of knowledgeable users the inks produce excellent prints by any professional standard, so in essence they ARE that wonderful.

Clogging is a whole different talk-show. Much has been written about this problem, including some by myself on this website. All pigment ink printers develop head clogs. You're pushing micro-particulates through holes that are nano-sized. What's different between technologies is how the issue is handled. Epson consumes ink to clean the heads. The amounts used are transparently calculable within the limits of how the Epson firmware allows one to measure ink usage. Canon printers also consume ink for head cleaning. I'm less familiar with the consumption rates and how they are measured because I don't own a CAnon printer, but there is a thread somewhere on this site which discusses it. HP's print heads are moderately priced consumables. When enough nozzles clog, you change the head.

Before running at the mouth about how less than wonderful any of these products are, just take a deep breath and look what this technology has grown to and enabled us to do over a short period of less than a decade.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Mark D Segal on November 06, 2007, 11:21:00 AM
Quote
Ink costs are crazy.
I think that epson has a right to defend their patents, but should also see that the huge interest in 3rd party inks is an obvious sign that people aren't very keen on paying so much money for ink...even if the ink is that great and archival (how many people print stuff for archival image purposes?)

Perhaps they can release two lines of ink, cheapass one for cheapass unimportant printing, and their high quality regular ones where image quality and archival needs count.

i'm a fan of canon and epson printers, the colours on their high end printers are beyond what I can achieve with c-prints alot of times...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=150906\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Generally speaking you pay for what you get. You can pay less for third party inks and suffer the risks or enjoy the benefits depending on what the batch you get does for you.

From the invention of the science onward, longevity has been a major objective of photographic processes. Inkjet printing was of no interest to the serious professional market until Epson pioneered inkjet pigment printing on a scale consumers could afford - with the model 2000P. It had its limitations - issues of gamut, brilliance and metamerism, but it was a technological watershed for the industry, and it only got far better since - rapidly.

Do you have the technical baclground to evaluate the technical and operational implications of changing between two qualities of ink in the same machine? Apart from the fact that the hardware and the inkset are optimized for eachother, have you considered what it would mean to empty the lines of one inkset and replace it with another? Do you seriously believe that could ever be economic? Do you think it feasible to design a machine that is optimized for two qualities of ink? People including me have screamed about the issues involved with changing just ONE ink on the Epson 4800. I simply don't see that design feature being sustained over the long term.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: RogerW on November 06, 2007, 11:35:45 AM
OK - so it seems some of us (me included) reckon epson have every right to protect their interests and others don't.

Can we move on to making some photos please!
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: rdonson on November 06, 2007, 03:55:14 PM
Quote
OK - so it seems some of us (me included) reckon epson have every right to protect their interests and others don't.

Can we move on to making some photos please!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=150912\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


You forgot to add:

Can we all agree that we all think we pay too much for ink?    

Back to printing now.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: dilip on November 06, 2007, 04:17:36 PM
Sorry to continue this along, but I do feel the need to correct some misconceptions...

To Schewe's comment about needing to enforce the patent, it's a bit of confusion.  A trademark must be enforced or the rights are permanently diluted.  A patent can be enforced at the will of the owner.  However, a requirement to enforce the patent can be a result of any number of things, including the need to enforce the ITC ruling.  We could debate this point endlessly, but this is where I make my living, and I'd find you the proof if it's really important, but I'm too lazy at the moment.

Having said that, to many other people's comments, Epson has a patent.  There's no disputing that.  They developed a novel technology. They have the right to enforce it.  Full stop. If you disagree with the existence of the patent system, that's fine. But it's rather immaterial to the discussion.  If you would like to derail the copyright system, once again, it's immaterial to the discussion.  Copyright and patent protections are there for reasons.  This isn't about big corporate interests actively going out to hose the little guy.  This is about a company that has spent a fortune on developping a new technology, and is attempting to recoup their costs and make a profit.

I agree that it appears that Mr. Cone is caught up in a net that wasn't cast for him.  But caught up he is.  Epson is likely going after the people who are making knock off carts.  Their patent protections is one way of doing this.  If no one makes the chipped carts, no one can sell the chipped carts with inferior products.  If inferior product gets out under their name, their reputation takes a huge hit.  In view of that, I understand why Epson is trying to close off the avenues.

Here's the thing that no one seems to want to say out loud: when you bought your printer, you knew the cost of ink.  If you thought it was oppressive, why did you buy?  Unless it's your business, this is the cost of doing a hobby.  If it is your business, then pass the costs along.  If neither is appropriate, don't get it and complain.

I'll leave my rant at that.  I have to go pack for Australia.

--dilip
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Mark D Segal on November 06, 2007, 04:47:54 PM
Dilip I think that sums it up perfectly.

Mark
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: feppe on November 06, 2007, 06:42:44 PM
Quote
Actually no...if you understand IP law, the holder of a patent MUST defend it or loose it...if Epson doesn't defend it's patents on it's ink delivery systems then they will be in the situation where the patents can be held to be invalid.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=150193\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

This is incorrect, Mr Schewe. What you describe applies to trademarks, not patents. You do not have to defend patents for them to stay effective. In fact, patents have and are being used retroactively to claim massive damages on technologies in use for years - just google Rambus or SCO.

I trust this is a case of mixed IP laws on your part, but if the originator is an Epson representative instead of you, it is disingenuous at best.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Schewe on November 06, 2007, 07:09:21 PM
Quote
This is incorrect, Mr Schewe. What you describe applies to trademarks, not patents. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=150996\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


My understanding is that patent enforcement is the process of legally maintaining one's patent grant. If an infringed patent is not enforced for a period of time, a patentee may lose the patent grant and the patent becomes unenforceable. Are you saying this is not the case?
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: DarkPenguin on November 06, 2007, 11:55:27 PM
Quote
*chomp*

Here's the thing that no one seems to want to say out loud: when you bought your printer, you knew the cost of ink.  If you thought it was oppressive, why did you buy? 

*chomp*

Perhaps because they thought they could buy cheap 3rd party ink?
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: TylerB on November 07, 2007, 01:42:24 AM
Quote
Perhaps because they thought they could buy cheap 3rd party ink?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151036\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I've purchased every Epson I've owned because they were great printers, nearly a dozen I believe.
I then proceeded to put ink in that was apropriate to my needs. In almost every case they were more expensive than Epson ink. RIPs as well, instead of the supplied drivers, another additional expense.

If I can not use the 3rd party inks I need to make prints this good, I won't use an Epson. The OEM inks are inadequate for the print quality I'm after.
Most on this list are interested in a high level of craft, so cheap ink is probably not relevant to this group. That's why I started the thread here.
Tyler
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Mark D Segal on November 07, 2007, 07:23:42 AM
Quote
I've purchased every Epson I've owned because they were great printers, nearly a dozen I believe.
I then proceeded to put ink in that was apropriate to my needs. In almost every case they were more expensive than Epson ink. RIPs as well, instead of the supplied drivers, another additional expense.

If I can not use the 3rd party inks I need to make prints this good, I won't use an Epson. The OEM inks are inadequate for the print quality I'm after.
Most on this list are interested in a high level of craft, so cheap ink is probably not relevant to this group. That's why I started the thread here.
Tyler
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151038\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That's interesting. I am very interested to learn which printer models, third-party inksets and media you are using that are giving you superior quality results to those obtainable from Epson inksets. Could you also briefly describe in what respects the quality is better and how you assess it - is it visual or do you verify your perceptions with measurements? Have you done side-by-side quality comparisons with the same image using different inks?
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: RogerW on November 07, 2007, 07:27:27 AM
Now, this is getting interesting!  I too would like to know the maker(s) of these desirable products and how to assess their worth vis-a-vis original maker's ink.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: dilip on November 07, 2007, 09:02:15 AM
Quote
My understanding is that patent enforcement is the process of legally maintaining one's patent grant. If an infringed patent is not enforced for a period of time, a patentee may lose the patent grant and the patent becomes unenforceable. Are you saying this is not the case?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151001\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

If you don't enforce patent rights within the statue of limitations, you lose the right to retroactively go after the infringing party.  You do not lose any patent rights. However, as I mentioned earlier, it is entirely possible that to ensure the validity of the ITC ruling, Epson has to enforce its rights against everyone.

--dilip
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Mark D Segal on November 07, 2007, 09:15:06 AM
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If you don't enforce patent rights within the statue of limitations, you lose the right to retroactively go after the infringing party.  You do not lose any patent rights. However, as I mentioned earlier, it is entirely possible that to ensure the validity of the ITC ruling, Epson has to enforce its rights against everyone.

--dilip
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151078\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Dilip, thanks for the clarification. But I think it shows that fundamentally Jeff was correct, in the sense that the effective protection of your patent rights would be severely diluted if you lose the right to go after infringing parties - kind of defeats the purpose, no?
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: rdonson on November 07, 2007, 09:45:35 AM
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Here's the thing that no one seems to want to say out loud: when you bought your printer, you knew the cost of ink.  If you thought it was oppressive, why did you buy?  Unless it's your business, this is the cost of doing a hobby.  If it is your business, then pass the costs along.  If neither is appropriate, don't get it and complain.

I'll leave my rant at that.  I have to go pack for Australia.

--dilip
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=150962\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Of course we all knew the cost of ink.

Sorry, but we live in Walmerica.  Everyone looks to acquire things as cheaply as they can with the possible exception of status oriented luxury items.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: jjj on November 07, 2007, 10:45:36 AM
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That's interesting. I am very interested to learn which printer models, third-party inksets and media you are using that are giving you superior quality results to those obtainable from Epson inksets. Could you also briefly describe in what respects the quality is better and how you assess it - is it visual or do you verify your perceptions with measurements? Have you done side-by-side quality comparisons with the same image using different inks?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151070\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
A few years ago at a photo trade fair, right next to Epson's massive stand was a small British company called Marrutt selling CIS and B+W ink sets for Epson printers. Hardly anyone was at the Epson stand as they were all fascinated by the fantastic B+W/Toned prints on display and the CIS features too. The Epson Reps looked less than happy at someone selling better inks for their printers and stealing their thunder too. But they copied the multiple Black inks idea not so long after.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: jjj on November 07, 2007, 10:50:45 AM
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Sorry, but we live in Walmerica.
News to me!  

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  Everyone looks to acquire things as cheaply as they can with the possible exception of status oriented luxury items.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151086\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Heck, I want them even cheaper!  
Actually I have no interest in 'status' items and I would only wear brand logos if someone paid me to do so. Paying [over the odds] to advertise someone else's brand is for gullible fools.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: wildstork on November 07, 2007, 01:10:23 PM
Jeff made an excellent point that was probably missed by most here: "Where Epson gets screwed is where unknowning consumers are buying cheap knockoff inks thinking there's no difference from the Epson brand ink...until their printers clog beyond fixing and expect Epson to honor their warantees and fix or replace the printers. That is a hard cost of doing business that is caused by the use of cheap knockoff 3rd party inks. And don't think that that sort of 3rd party ink is equal to or better than the Epson ink...it ain't."

The last line is subjective and may be disputed by those like Tyler, who feel that Jon's third part ink produces better results for him.  Apart from that, there is no doubt that Epson has spent a lot of money repairing printers that were damaged by third party inks.  To ignore this and blame Epson for taking offense (and taking steps to protect their investment) is ludicrous.  The company spent and continues to spend countless millions developing and refining new technologies that have consistently raised the bar on printing standards.  No company has done as much (evidence Epson's market share in fine art printers).

It wasn't long ago that many were posting on the wide format forums that when blocked heads would result from using third party inks (with printers still under warranty), the most prudent course of action was to install Epson cartridges in the machine prior to shipping it back to Epson.  

I think Epson has better things to do than do a chemical analysis on ink in the lines of returned printers so as to ascertain whether or not a third party ink was responsible for the damage.

Thank you, Jeff, for your words of wisdom.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Roscolo on November 07, 2007, 02:27:15 PM
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I think Epson has better things to do than do a chemical analysis on ink in the lines of returned printers so as to ascertain whether or not a third party ink was responsible for the damage.


[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151107\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Unfortunately, just like the Dodge / Chrysler example I used earlier regarding testing to make sure customers were using the proper fluid in their transmissions, a company has to do what is necessary to ensure the warranty was not voided. It's not that much different than spending money on lawyers and courts to enforce patents: cost of doing business. Otherwise, I guess that company has to take the customer's word if they aren't prepared to check.

As someone else pointed out, I didn't dump Epson because the Epson printers I have used were cloggy with third party inks, they were quite cloggy with Epson ink.

Also, I'll never forget sending a printer to an Epson repair tech, who then called to tell me he needed to do some diagnostics and there was not enough ink in the printer to do the test. I said, "you're the Epson tech, surely you have some ink carts." He said he had the ink carts, but I would have to buy them (at a premium, of course). I told him he should get it from Epson. For all I know, the printer is going to be irreparable - do the diagnostics, then we'll talk about buying more ink considering how much ink was wasted doing nozzle checks and head cleanings prior to getting moved to repair status. Nope, he actually expected me to go out and buy some ink carts and send them to him (or buy them at an outrageous inflated price from him) so he could do the diagnostics on a printer under warranty! I followed up with Epson and after 2 hours of phone calls and hold time, an EXCEPTION was made for me and they would send the ink carts to me, and then I would have to send the ink to the repair tech. Gee, that was an efficient idea, so THEN I had to get Epson tech to call the repair tech so that he would know some more ink was on the way, and only then would he put the ink in the printer (which I needed back) to do diagnostics.

From what I witnessed just in that one Epson transaction, Epson has more to be concerned about in their business than patent enforcement. I agree...Epson has A LOT more to work on than analyzing ink.

Official end of rant.

Addendum: that event was a few years ago, but look at the impression it left. Listening, Epson?
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: feppe on November 07, 2007, 03:41:29 PM
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If you don't enforce patent rights within the statue of limitations, you lose the right to retroactively go after the infringing party.  You do not lose any patent rights. However, as I mentioned earlier, it is entirely possible that to ensure the validity of the ITC ruling, Epson has to enforce its rights against everyone.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151078\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

IANAL, but there are numerous cases where a patent was left undefended for years on end, and someone used these patented technologies for years, only to get successfully sued later - but within the 20-year patent period. Rambus case is the best I know. So in that sense retroactivity is not lost.

I haven't read the ITC ruling, so this might be a different issue than a straightforward patent ruling. So you might be completely right.

But to reiterate: patents don't need to be defended to stay effective. Trademarks have to be vigorously defended. That's why Xerox paid for full-spread advertisements talking solely about "xeroxing" being an improper way to talk about copying, as that will dilute the trademark.

And to recap: consumers lose and lawyers win. And I'll argue that Epson is on the losing side in the long run, as well. The dying throes many music publishers are in, directly as a result of clinging to outdated revenue sources should give pause to Epson shareholders.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Mark D Segal on November 07, 2007, 04:20:51 PM
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And I'll argue that Epson is on the losing side in the long run, as well. The dying throes many music publishers are in, directly as a result of clinging to outdated revenue sources should give pause to Epson shareholders.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151135\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It really amuses me how so many people on the internet know more about what's best for Epson's commercial strategy than Epson does, eventhough they are the ones in the business and with the most to lose from getting it wrong.

Just as a matter of interest I consulted the summary data for the economic model I keep on my 4800. Let's assume I'm an average 4800 user (i.e. many other people print more or less than I do, but I'm "average"). I'm in CAD. The machine was 2450, and I've used about 4800 ml of ink worth 2300. All this is before taxes. Forgetting paper here, that mean's the printer has generated revenues of 4750 of which a portion nets-back to Epson (remember there's distribution, transportation, etc. etc. before you get the netback from the consumer to the factory wall). Let us assume this machine has now achieved the "average" life-cycle Epson expects in terms of the time period over which it must recuperate all its costs and make a satisfactory rate of return on the printer (in fact many enterprises require much shorter return periods than this.) Under these assumptions, therefore, Epson needs 4750 from this machine over two years. They can get it two ways - charging for the machine or charging for the consumables. Let us say they bought into all the gratuitous advice they get over the internet and cut the price of ink in half. That means - on average - 2300/2, or 1150 would be added to the price of the printer. This is a zero-sum game after all, because Epson ain't swimming in excess profit (read their latest Annual Report). So add 1150 to 2450, and they'e be charging 3600 for the printer. What do you think would happen to printer sales? What risk would they be taking that HP or Canon will undersell them on the printer - then they wouldn't even have the option of make-up from the ink. You see, even from this simple example, the main point here is that business strategy is a bit complicated. Not that internet jabber is all that much different from alot of economics which gets practiced - we have a standing bane in the profession about "planning without numbers".  
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Schewe on November 07, 2007, 05:36:16 PM
Also don't forget that "Epson" here in the US (where the ITC finding applies) is really Epson America, a subsidiary of Seiko/Epson Japan but with the flexibility not shown in a lot of Japanese subsidiaries. They do a lot of stuff independent of Japan.

Also don't forget there are two distinct business models at Epson. One is the razor/razor blade model of selling commodity prices printers at a near loss (pretty sure they are not actually sold at a complete loss) and then consumables which equates to selling the razor cheap and marking up the blades and the Epson Pro printers. There is a world of differences between both the manufacturing and distribution. Each Epson Pro printer is literally hand assembled and tested and not passed unless the Delta E difference in 2 or under. Andrew and I tested a variety of 3800s when doing the EFP profiles and the 3800s were within a Delta E of about .6.

The ITC effort is directed towards going after the razor/razor blade model where people buy Epson printers and then are convinced that cheapo 3rd party inks are "just as good" or are buying bootleg knockoff copies. The companies selling the cheapos and knockoffs are are using ink carts that are being cheaply manufactured that violate Epson patents...

How can this possibly considered good for the consumer?

I have no doubt that Cone's K7 B&W inkset can do things that genuine Epson K3 inks can't with regards to B&W printing. It would therefore behoove Cone to enter into negotiations with Epson to make sure that a viable market niche isn't destroyed by incidental contact to the 3rd party knockoff artists.

On the other hand, his ConeColor inks don't seem to be aimed at any real shortcomings in Epson K3 inks other than cost and some sort of half-hearted attempt at playing the "Green Card". If he has data that indicates that Epson ink manufacturing is engaged in toxic manufacturing I would like to see it. Course, he doesn't actually provide any data to back up the toxic claims...so it just seems to boil down to cost savings. Course, the flip-side is that to the best of my knowledge there also isn't any data to back up any longevity claims other than the statement "greatest amount of fade resistance".

But again, he was not a named company in the proceedings (that I can tell) that resulted in the ITC finding.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: feppe on November 07, 2007, 05:38:34 PM
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It really amuses me how so many people on the internet know more about what's best for Epson's commercial strategy than Epson does, eventhough they are the ones in the business and with the most to lose from getting it wrong.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151148\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

As for my credentials (I don't think it's relevant but people on the internets seem to require that even if the reasoning is sound): degree in Economics, and I work in finance for a Global Fortune 500 company in an unrelated field.

Nevertheless, what I said has very little to do with numbers, or your peripherally relevant anecdote. The fact is that the business model is getting outdated. Whenever a business has to use courts to cling to their revenue stream, that's almost always a sign of a dying business model. If the only way you can assure sales is by beating your competitors to submission through courts, and/or by locking your customers in, you have already lost the war. That's because your competitors will come up with better, faster and/or cheaper ways to produce the same results - witness HP and Canon entering Epson's turf -, or customers going for other products in disgust - witness rise of Linux despite it being arguably inferior to Windows.

I heard and posted here about this case a few months back, and am not touching Epson even if they come up with a 3D printer complete with life-size Angelina Jolie samples. I haven't heard any compelling argument which would justify Epson's rabid attack. Sure, it might make sense legally. Hell, it might even be in accordance with patents - which I fully support although they are given out too easily these days. That doesn't mean it's a good, or even a decent, base for a business.

If I was an Epson shareholder, I'd be freaked out by Epson potentially alienating their low-end customers, which I assume to be a major portion of their sales despite all the talk about their high-end products here. Also, by refusing their customers buying cheaper ink they are effectively denying themselves the ability to ride the price curve (of printers), ie. people who can't afford to print with Epson inks don't buy Epson printers - so instead of selling a printer but no ink to those customers, Epson loses all of those customers. Finally, Epson is paying a lot of money to lawyers, money that could be spent on R&D to fix the infamous clogging issues, better B&W printing workflow, or some novel printing tech.

And don't even get me started how DOA the industry's business model is: selling printers at a discount, while jacking up the price of ink to higher levels than the finest cognacs. Some MBA read a chapter on customer lock-in at school and thought creating an artificial but unsustainable monopoly would make for a great business model for an entire industry. That's why they now need to bring in trained attack lawyers to protect it, while exposing themselves to the next company which is smart enough to avoid the same mistakes.

edit:

Quote
The ITC effort is directed towards going after the razor/razor blade model where people buy Epson printers and then are convinced that cheapo 3rd party inks are "just as good" or are buying bootleg knockoff copies. The companies selling the cheapos and knockoffs are are using ink carts that are being cheaply manufactured that violate Epson patents...

How can this possibly considered good for the consumer?

If I buy a printer, I don't like people telling me what I can do with it. If I want to use it as a fishing net weight, I'll use it as a fishing net weight. Same thing with inks. Epson should have no place to limit the inks I use. Capitalism is built on free markets, and creating artificial monopolies supported by broken rhetoric about protecting their customers - when they actually mean protecting their bottom line - is where I vote with my euros. The only thing Epson should be able to do here is to put a big sticker on the printer saying "if you use non-Epson inks blaah blaah blaah" so I can ignore and rip it off.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Schewe on November 07, 2007, 05:59:24 PM
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If I buy a printer, I don't like people telling me what I can do with it. If I want to use it as a fishing net weight, I'll use it as a fishing net weight. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151166\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Ok...but I'm pretty sure THAT would void the warrantee...
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: feppe on November 07, 2007, 06:22:52 PM
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Ok...but I'm pretty sure THAT would void the warrantee...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151172\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

*goes to check Epson's warranty policy*
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Mark D Segal on November 07, 2007, 06:55:23 PM
Feppe, the business model is not DOA. All of them are doing it. Firms in other industries do it. No-one MUST use Epson inks. Anyone is free to develop any inkset for Epson printers they want and sell them legally as long as they don't infringe Epson's patents. Same for the other manufacturers. Patent laws are here to stay for a long time to come and patents will continue to be granted in just about every industry known to man. As a financial man I'm sure you are accustomed to reading Annual Reports. Go to the Epson Corporate website, download the AR and read how much they are investing in research. The legal bills for the court case were undoubtedly high, but small-potatos compared to their R&D spending. As I've said elsewhere, this ink cost business is way over-hyped. Firstly, by the time you account for the paper, printer amortization and ink, the ink is runs about 42% of the total cost of a print - that's using Enhanced Matte, which is the cheapest professional grade paper you can put through it. Put through Premium Luster and the ink share falls well below 40%. My all-in-cost for a 9*6 inch print on an A4 sheet is CAD 1.30. In nominal terms and all the more so in real terms it's a fraction of what I used to pay for wet-process colour prints from film and the quality is incomparably better and I control it. I'm not saying I enjoy shelling out 100 bucks for an ink cartridge, but at the same time all this complaining about the cost of ink needs to be put into some perspective.

Now let's look at the future: there will be more technical change, more lowering of real costs, more quality - and most important of all - more competition. Remember Archival Fine Art Printing was Epson's market from 1999 (the 2000P) until last year (the Canon IPF 5000 and now the HP z series). Now there is real competition - for quality, for flexibility, for features, for price - this is what will drive the market, and if you and I know it, they know it. No-one in their right mind sitting at the strategic center of any of these companies seriously believes lawyers are going to create their economic future, but they still need the lawyers to protect their intellectual property from piracy; people who don't like that idea should ask themselves whether they are siding with pirates or whether they seriously believe we'd have the current rate of technical progress without patent protection - who would put the capital at risk? . It's all part of the paraphanalia and cost of doing business, but very obviously not the central feature of their business model or anyone else's. Anyhow the central trends and the driving forces are good news for consumers.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: John Hollenberg on November 07, 2007, 08:47:07 PM
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If I buy a printer, I don't like people telling me what I can do with it. If I want to use it as a fishing net weight, I'll use it as a fishing net weight.

What kind of net were you planning to use it with?  I have heard that the printer works well with Epson nets, but not so well with third party nets.  

On the other hand, using the printer as a weight on the fishing line works quite well, assuming you have at least 100 lb. test monofilament.

--John
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Mark D Segal on November 07, 2007, 09:37:11 PM
I hope he empties the ink first - kind of expensive for fish bait  
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Ernst Dinkla on November 08, 2007, 05:21:06 AM
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Feppe, the business model is not DOA. All of them are doing it. Firms in other industries do it. No-one MUST use Epson inks. Anyone is free to develop any inkset for Epson printers they want and sell them legally as long as they don't infringe Epson's patents. Same for the other manufacturers. Patent laws are here to stay for a long time to come and patents will continue to be granted in just about every industry known to man. As a financial man I'm sure you are accustomed to reading Annual Reports. Go to the Epson Corporate website, download the AR and read how much they are investing in research. The legal bills for the court case were undoubtedly high, but small-potatos compared to their R&D spending. As I've said elsewhere, this ink cost business is way over-hyped. Firstly, by the time you account for the paper, printer amortization and ink, the ink is runs about 42% of the total cost of a print - that's using Enhanced Matte, which is the cheapest professional grade paper you can put through it. Put through Premium Luster and the ink share falls well below 40%. My all-in-cost for a 9*6 inch print on an A4 sheet is CAD 1.30. In nominal terms and all the more so in real terms it's a fraction of what I used to pay for wet-process colour prints from film and the quality is incomparably better and I control it. I'm not saying I enjoy shelling out 100 bucks for an ink cartridge, but at the same time all this complaining about the cost of ink needs to be put into some perspective.

Now let's look at the future: there will be more technical change, more lowering of real costs, more quality - and most important of all - more competition. Remember Archival Fine Art Printing was Epson's market from 1999 (the 2000P) until last year (the Canon IPF 5000 and now the HP z series). Now there is real competition - for quality, for flexibility, for features, for price - this is what will drive the market, and if you and I know it, they know it. No-one in their right mind sitting at the strategic center of any of these companies seriously believes lawyers are going to create their economic future, but they still need the lawyers to protect their intellectual property from piracy; people who don't like that idea should ask themselves whether they are siding with pirates or whether they seriously believe we'd have the current rate of technical progress without patent protection - who would put the capital at risk? . It's all part of the paraphanalia and cost of doing business, but very obviously not the central feature of their business model or anyone else's. Anyhow the central trends and the driving forces are good news for consumers.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=151192\")

There's much to agree on in your message. Some things related more to wide format models may have been forgotten .

One, the way Epson developed waste ink income in all its systems over the years, even their last introduction of the 4880 up to 9880 models is evidence of that. For at least 5 years Epson users did complain about issues related to wasted ink. I have described them before and the archives of the Epson Wide Format list on Yahoo give more details. It is the competition that puts an end to this practice, their new solutions will for many mean a cut in ink use from 10 to 40 %. If your figures are right it means a reduction from 4 to 16% in print costs. A percentage that counts in the competition with printers on every street corner.

Second, Archival Fine Art Printing didn't start with the 2000P, it started with the Epson 9000's loaded with Mediastreet's Generation 4 ink and the equivalent ink from MIS. At that time Epson, Lyson, Van Son couldn't deliver the dye ink that had archival quality. Staedtler couldn't deliver the pigment ink with enough gamut and Epson's Archival ink in the 2000P, 10000CF, 7500 and 9500 introduced after Mediastreet's Generations didn't have the gamut either and showed heavy metamerism. I was there on the Drupa when Epson models printed 50's inspired posters, not for nostalgia but to disguise the poor gamut. My 9000's with Generations ink in my custom made CIS had more color. No wonder that serious art and photography print shops and individuals refilled their carts with better alternatives till Ultrachrome in the 9600 range appeared. In fact an ink that wasn't much better but the extra grey ink in the models did the trick of reducing metamerism and improving color consistency.  A solution long discussed in the lists before Epson introduced it. Not enough to convince the B&W crowd that was already using quad ink solutions from third parties in their printers. No economic solution for the print shop that had one printer and needed to change between gloss and matt. Up to the x600 models a black ink change was the equivalent of printing 15 square meters. That ink flowed into an expensive chipped waste box that wasn't part of an environmental safety program but simply another money creator for Epson. The one model after that the Epson's 4000 model that allowed gloss<>matt changes without ink loss and with Ultrachrome inks aboard must have been the model with the shortest production period ever. One wonders why as many purchasers still love that machine. Even for the 9800/7800 solutions like phatt had to be introduced by third parties to reduce the still heavy ink waste when changing from matte to gloss ink.

This policy creates a user's sentiment that may not welcome patent claims that have more to do with continuing the practices described above than with inkjet innovation. Epson will have to reinvent its business in view of the competition which is the real threat to it now, much more than this leak in their ink profits. By providing more economic solutions in print speed, ink use and printer reliability it could succeed and win back some goodwill. This game will not take place in courts but in reshaping their marketing department. The technology for solving many of the issues described above is available for a long time. If that economy in ink use is created there will be less desire for adventures with third party inks.

A maturing market with competition asks for other approaches, Epson has been surprised by the competition, the stop gap solutions of the 3800 up to the 9880 are not the answer. Even the 11880 may fall short on speed and no gloss enhancer aboard which would have been easy to add. On ink economy it is hard to tell yet whether things actually improved apart from the black ink change. The winning of this court case will not contribute to its PR image at a time they are losing market share in wide formats anyway.

The ethical side of using third party inks and software in Epson printers is in many ways dictated by the space allowed by Epson and the law + the need to compensate flaws in Epson's products. At least with the 9000 + Generations ink Epson was tolerant as they had no archival solution themselves and a new market opened up for them. With the now enforced patent claims some solutions will not be longer available and a clearer boundary is created. Going over that boundary is illegal. Solutions that are not in conflict are not illegal. The rest of the ethical aspects can be put on a fine balance with Epson's policies on one scale and the users answers to that on the other scale.  I didn't have sleepless nights about the ethics of using third party inks in the past. No longer using Epsons and happy with a Z3100 with Vivera pigment inks that solves 90% of what is described above I may sleep better for other reasons related to third party inks but that's another story.


Ernst Dinkla

try: [a href=\"http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/]http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/[/url]
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Mark D Segal on November 08, 2007, 08:34:53 AM
Ernst, thanks for filling-in some of the historical development I didn't mention. I was focusing on key aspects of the business strategy issue. I think I have as good a handle as anyone on waste ink in the Epson printers I use, because I track it by the mililiter and I have written articles about it on this website. Canon printers also waste ink, as recently reevealed, and with HP printers, when the enough nozzles clog you replace the head. So each manufacture deals with it differently and more or less transparently. Which is cheapest I think still remains to be empirically determined, but the anecdotal evidence suggests that HP may be ahead in that particular battle.

I personally believe that Epson made a huge technological error when they decided that photographers would generally stick with one generic kind of paper and therefore not be bothered much by the huge cost of switching inks with a change between matte and non-matte media - they focused their efforts on optimizing the quality of the grey-scale and decided to compromise on the costs of the re-design that would have been involved with providing a nine-channel printhead. This is the fundamental strategic error that gave Canon and HP a toe-hold into the Fine Art market, so Epson responded with the 3800, which is a partial solution, again with compromises (no roll holder, limited to 17 inches, etc.). It is clear that some time ago they recognized what they did to themselves and a more comprehensive solution would be needed, hence the 11880 - the output of which by the way is absolutely stunning. I think it is just a matter of time before that technology gets bundled into the smaller size machines and they will be giving Canon and HP a run for their money. In this respect I see we agree completely that competition between them is the fundamental driver. And we consumers will be all the better-off for it. At the same time, all of them will enforce their patent rights!

As for the PR battle - true - big companies always look ugly enforcing their rights - especially when well-meaning people with great technologies such as Jon Cone get swept-up in the process (one hopes he could find a way around this - perhaps a cooperative relationship with Epson or another manufacturer?), but I wonder whether this would be a market driver. One needs to look at how people really decide to buy equipment. It is a complex decision involving the customers' needs, quality of output, investment cost, operational cost, features and flexibility, and extremely important - after sales service. It's not clear to me that enforcement of patent rights has a high ranking within that mix of variables.

Mark
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: John Hollenberg on November 09, 2007, 12:59:19 PM
I haven't taken a position on either side of this issue, but here is further food for thought from Paul Roark, in the form of a letter posted as a link on the Digital B&W Yahoo Group:

To Whom It May Concern:

Re:   International Trade Commission matter 337-TA-565
   Exclusion of competitive cartridges from the U.S.

The public needs to be made aware of a very anticompetitive, anti-consumer, and anti-environmental action about to be taken by the U.S. government.  Our government is about to eliminate competition in the sale of Epson-compatible inks.

It appears the fate of competition in the market for Epson-compatible inks is in the hands of U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab, 600 17th Street, N.W., Washington D.C. 20508.  If she does not act to stop the implementation of International Trade Commission matter 337-TA-565, the ability of other companies to sell ink to consumers of Epson inkjet printers may be blocked by the U.S. government, in effect, subsidizing Epson’s efforts to monopolize Epson-compatible ink sales by excluding inkjet cartridges from importation into the U.S.

The prices of Epson inks in its cartridges are vastly higher than the competing ink options.  In addition to the pre-filled, competitive cartridges, many use easily-refillable, third-party cartridges or continuous flow ink systems and buy ink in bulk, such as 4 oz. bottles.  When bought in bulk, the prices for competing inks are about 1/10th that of what consumers pay for Epson inks.

In addition to the huge price differential, the competitive options that allow the use of bulk inks do not cause the environmental problems associated with consumers throwing the small cartridges into our land fills. These options also will likely be eliminated by this ITC action.

While some have claimed that third party inks are inferior, this is simply not true in many cases.  In the small black and white, monochromatic ink market that I am personally most interested in, the non-Epson inks are superior to Epson options.  Epson makes no product that can equal the image quality, stability and lightfastness of the carbon inks I use for my fine art B&W photographic prints.  And the inks I use are far cheaper.  Additionally, innovative little U.S. companies have for years made very lightfast pigmented inks available for entry level printers where Epson sells only fast-fading dyes.  In short, there are small, innovative U.S. companies that sell superior products for less.  These companies are at risk of being put out of business by the combination of Epson’s anticompetitive practices and the U.S. government.

The ITC Epson inkjet cartridge matter, now pending before the U.S. Trade Representative, is part of Epson’s attempt to monopolize aftermarket ink sale into its printer base.  It is using its patents over the interface between the inks and printers to accomplish this.  Even assuming these inkjet cartridge patents are valid, this is, in effect, an illegal “tying agreement” that ties subsequent sales of inks to the sale of the printer.  Tying agreements have been prohibited by the antitrust laws for many years, although the burden of proving an illegal tying agreement has been made much more difficult in recent years.  Realistically, small competitors and consumers simply cannot afford the legal fees and years of litigation such matters now involve.  Nonetheless, where a government agency is called on to exercise discretion, the fact of the likely illegal conduct and the larger competitive picture should be considered.  Sadly, the plight of competitors and consumers who were never parties to this action may never have come to the attention of the decision makers.  The U.S. Trade representative needs to consider these factors.

From a legal standpoint, there are cases that deal with these concepts.  The Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals in Image Technical Services v. Eastman Kodak (125 F.3d 1195 (1997)) addressed for the first time the relationship of intellectual property rights and the antitrust laws.  The court held that a monopolist who has achieved a dominant position through its patents and copyrights can violate the Sherman Act by exploiting that dominant position to attain a monopoly in another market.  As a subsequent court noted, “Properly viewed within the framework of a tying case, [Image Technical Services] can be interpreted as restating the undisputed premise that the patent holder cannot use his statutory right to refuse to sell patented parts to gain a monopoly in a market beyond the scope of the patent.” (CSU v. Xerox, 203 F.3d at 1327)  See also Atari Games Corp. v. Nintendo of AM., Inc.: “[A] patent owner may not take the property right granted by a patent and use it to extend his power in the marketplace improperly, i.e., beyond the limits of what Congress intended to give in the patent laws.”  (897 F.2d 1572, 1576 (Fed. Cir. 1990))  An excellent article on this subject by Nicholas Economides and William Hebert can be found at http://ideas.repec.org/p/net/wpaper/0707.html (http://ideas.repec.org/p/net/wpaper/0707.html).

Almost all of us use printers that might be affected by the concepts noted above.  We need consumers to be aware of the problem and convey their concerns to the policy makers involved.  Using dubious patents to monopolize adjacent markets, and having the ITC help in this effort is not what Congress had in mind when these legal regimes were put in place.

Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

Paul Roark
www.PaulRoark.com
Retired FTC antitrust attorney
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Mark D Segal on November 09, 2007, 01:55:20 PM
I question whether Paul Roark's legal references are relevant to the specifics of the Epson case.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Kenneth Sky on November 09, 2007, 03:06:46 PM
It won't matter whether it is legal or illegal. Money flows like water to the lowest level (price). These companies will simply move off shore, e.g. Canada and do a brisk trade.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Mark D Segal on November 09, 2007, 04:53:19 PM
Yes, well with the state of law enforcement being what it is in this country you have a point.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: WaltZ on November 09, 2007, 11:34:26 PM
Who says Epson is going to shut down all of the third-party ink makers?   Maybe they're going to get smart and give some 3rd party inks the "Epson Seal of Approval" in exchange for a percentage of their revenue, while shutting down the damaging inks.  It may drive the price of 3rd party inks up a bit, but in the end it's a win for everybody except the crappy ink makers.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Mark D Segal on November 12, 2007, 09:46:08 AM
I thought the exchange below between two members of the Yahoo Epson_Printers List would be of interest to those concerned about the future of CIS systems linked to Epson printers. It would appear there may not be anything to worry about:
_______________________________________
Hello Chris

The recent ruling should not affect you at all. CIS systems and parts
have so far been left alone by Epson, their focus being on empty
pre-chipped single-use cartridges.

--- In [email protected], Christopher Dunton
>wrote:
>
> Mr. Morrison,
>
> As a user of your CIS with R24 inks for my R2400 how
> does this recently ruling impact on my ability to
> continue to maintain my CIS and obtain parts, service
> and supplies from your company going into the future?
>
> Chris Dunton ..>
______________________________________

The "Mr. Morrison" responding to the question from "Chris" is a representative of Nazdar, formerly Lyson.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Ray on November 12, 2007, 11:29:05 AM
Quote
Also don't forget there are two distinct business models at Epson. One is the razor/razor blade model of selling commodity prices printers at a near loss (pretty sure they are not actually sold at a complete loss) and then consumables which equates to selling the razor cheap and marking up the blades and the Epson Pro printers. There is a world of differences between both the manufacturing and distribution. Each Epson Pro printer is literally hand assembled and tested and not passed unless the Delta E difference in 2 or under. Andrew and I tested a variety of 3800s when doing the EFP profiles and the 3800s were within a Delta E of about .6.

The ITC effort is directed towards going after the razor/razor blade model where people buy Epson printers and then are convinced that cheapo 3rd party inks are "just as good" or are buying bootleg knockoff copies. The companies selling the cheapos and knockoffs are are using ink carts that are being cheaply manufactured that violate Epson patents...

How can this possibly considered good for the consumer?

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151165\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That's a very good point. Coincidentally, I've just bought the latest model of Epson's entry level 4 ink printer, the C90 here in Chiang Mai. It came with a complete set of full size ink cartridges, of course, at a total cost of US$47 (1590 Thai Baht). Replacement Epson ink cartridges in the same shop cost 365 Baht each or $43 for a set of 4.

I'm paying $4 for the printer. Now that I suggest is definitely below cost. Of course, I can't buy the printer without the ink for $4, but even so, the total package of ink and printer for $47 is ridiculously cheap. If everyone who bought a C90 were to replace the initial cartridges with 3rd party inks, what would be the point for Epson.

It's clear in this business model, Epson can only make a profit from its sales of ink.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: sniper on November 12, 2007, 12:20:12 PM
Quote
That's a very good point. Coincidentally, I've just bought the latest model of Epson's entry level 4 ink printer, the C90 here in Chiang Mai. It came with a complete set of full size ink cartridges, of course, at a total cost of US$47 (1590 Thai Baht). Replacement Epson ink cartridges in the same shop cost 365 Baht each or $43 for a set of 4.

I'm paying $4 for the printer. Now that I suggest is definitely below cost. Of course, I can't buy the printer without the ink for $4, but even so, the total package of ink and printer for $47 is ridiculously cheap. If everyone who bought a C90 were to replace the initial cartridges with 3rd party inks, what would be the point for Epson.

It's clear in this business model, Epson can only make a profit from its sales of ink.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=152127\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes but assuming you buy a second set of Epsom inks you will have paid about $90 for a printer and inks that probably cost about $25 to make, and will probably only last you a year.   Wayne
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Ray on November 12, 2007, 02:48:47 PM
Quote
Yes but assuming you buy a second set of Epsom inks you will have paid about $90 for a printer and inks that probably cost about $25 to make, and will probably only last you a year.   Wayne
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=152138\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It's not likely $90 of ink and printer will last as long as a year. I've found a Premium Glossy A4 paper that costs only 8 cents a sheet, as opposed to Epson's 59 cents a sheet. The Dura Brite Ultra inks dry immediately and the tones look identical to those printed on Epson's Premium Gloss.

However, the Epson paper is 255gms and this el cheapo Hi-jet brand only 190gms.

One can't expect everything for 8 cents a sheet   .
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Mark D Segal on November 12, 2007, 02:57:39 PM
Quote
It's not likely $90 of ink and printer will last as long as a year. I've found a Premium Glossy A4 paper that costs only 8 cents a sheet, as opposed to Epson's 59 cents a sheet. The Dura Brite Ultra inks dry immediately and the tones look identical to those printed on Epson's Premium Gloss.

However, the Epson paper is 255gms and this el cheapo Hi-jet brand only 190gms.

One can't expect everything for 8 cents a sheet   .
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=152192\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Has Henry Wilhelm tested your el-cheapo paper for longevity from deterioration of the surface or the backing?

By the way, what have you been photographing in Chiang-Mai?

Mark
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Ray on November 12, 2007, 03:28:08 PM
Quote
Has Henry Wilhelm tested your el-cheapo paper for longevity from deterioration of the surface or the backing?

By the way, what have you been photographing in Chiang-Mai?

Mark
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=152194\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Mark,
Of course not. But I would expect the longevity to be reasonable because of the pigment inks.

What have I been photographing? Well, I suppose stuff which I wouldn't like to show on this family oriented program. I have the intention of visiting a few hill tribes but haven't got around to it yet. These lovely Thai people are often so pleased to get a print of the photos I take of them, I couldn't resist buying this entry level printer.

Surprisingly, when I convert my images to sRGB and let the printer handle the color management, I seem to get better results than the appearance of the image on my uncalibrated laptop would indicate I should get, especially with regard to skin tones. The images on screen tend to look slightly too pink for the Asian complexion. Since I'm fairly sure this is due to the uncalibrated state of my laptop I don't bother trying to correct it, but the printer does. Does this image look natural?  

[attachment=3812:attachment]
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Mark D Segal on November 12, 2007, 03:59:14 PM
Ray,

I think I need a return trip to Chiang Mai (alone!)  

The skin tones look quite natural to me for the range of Thai complexions one sees - though I have to admit I've never seen more than faces and hands (isn't that what you expected me to say?). Imaginative photograph. but the way she's eyeing the camera - of course the camera) kind of suggests she's looking quite intensively at what's going on there.

Re the el cheapo paper - well of course depending on your needs - but in fact the paper itself is also a longevity issue. Henry has drafted material available on his website indicating that some of these papers actually disintegrate, they yellow unevenly, the backing and the coatings separate, etc. So IF the work is intended to last a long time, this is an issue. If not, well then it isn't an issue!

Re the laptop - especially the cheaper ones are notorious for giving wrong colour and luminosity information. Have you noticed how the whole appearance of the image changes each time you adjust the angle of the lid a bit? Also, the quality of the video cards and display in many of those laptops can give profiling quite a challenge. I learned an interesting sort-of-fix several weeks ago at least to deal with the angle of view issue. It is this: Go to Bill Atkinson's website and download his printer test target - the one with all those small colour images and the grayscale and colour gradients in it. Load it onto your display. Then angle the lid till the target looks about right (you can tell when it looks right quite easily by all the visual cues he's built-in there). That at least lets you know if you keep that angle for the lid and you anchor your head steady at the same angle of vision,  (i.e. don't get distracted by the subject matter  ), you at least have the appropriate viewing conditions to see the image as correctly as the state of the profile allows.

With best wishes for continued successful photographic endeavours in Chiang Mai,

Mark
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Peter McLennan on November 12, 2007, 05:03:51 PM
Paul Roark's superb letter sums it up perfectly.  Chipped carts and, incredibly, waste tanks, are nothing but lock-in for Epson.  A government that claims to rely on "market forces" and yet approves of such practices is truly hypocritical.

I just installed a black-channel-only CIS and I'm pumping MIS Eboni ink though my 4800 at a prodigious rate, making 17X22 black-only prints that amaze and delight me. With the Epson ink and paper, even small prints were a conscious decision. Photographers selling their prints to clients don't have to worry.  Since I photograph for myself, I do.

With third party media and ink, I can print large, often and guilt-free.  Isn't that progress? I currently have three Epson printers, all running a CIS, some for nearly eight years, trouble free.  So much for FUD.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Mark D Segal on November 12, 2007, 05:10:22 PM
Peter, from what I've been reading today it would appear that CIS systems will remain unaffected.

As for the contentions in Paul Roark's letter, I suppose that's the kind of stuff that will play-out in the courts, depending on who takes what action in the USA.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Ray on November 13, 2007, 12:11:46 AM
Quote
Re the el cheapo paper - well of course depending on your needs - but in fact the paper itself is also a longevity issue. Henry has drafted material available on his website indicating that some of these papers actually disintegrate, they yellow unevenly, the backing and the coatings separate, etc. So IF the work is intended to last a long time, this is an issue. If not, well then it isn't an issue!

Mark,
Thanks for your helpful advice as always.  

The longevity issue is perhaps something that hasn't received much discussion in this thread so far. When using non-Epson inks with non-Epson papers, as some people prefer to, how can one be sure about the longevity of the prints, unless Wilhelm or some other authority has tested that particular combination.

I tend to think that an ink and paper combination that has been tested for extreme longevity will consist of both durable inks and durable paper. Whilst Epson inks used on an untested brand of paper might not have as great a longevity, when we're talking about longevity periods of 60 to 100 years, one tends to think if longevity is cut in half as a result of using an untested brand of paper, that's still pretty good.

However, if coatings start separating rather than colors fading or changing hue, then that's really bad.

This Hi-jet brand of paper appears to be so cheap because it is manufactured in Thailand. The manufacturer has a website at http://www.hi-jet.com/about/about.php?lang=eng (http://www.hi-jet.com/about/about.php?lang=eng) , a few awards under its belt and a recommendation from a Thai Prime Minister. It appears to be a reputable company, so I'm not expecting the paper to start shedding its coatings. However, I can't find any reviews of the paper, so who knows.

Perhaps a point that needs to be stressed here, in this debate about patent infringement of ink cartridges, is that Epson cannot rely upon making sufficient profits on paper to fund its continuing research into improving its printers. The paper market is wide open and profiling equipment is now much more affordable than it used to be.

If the production of 3rd party ink cartridges was as wide open as the production of alternative papers, Epson would have no choice but to charge exhorbitant prices for its printers, not only to pay its shareholders and fund continuing research, but to test every malfunctioning printer for possible causes of inappropriate ink usage. What a nightmare and how much customer dissatisfaction would result from people not appreciating the fact that some brands of inks could have a deleterious effect on their printer, or not believing the technician who advises them that the 3rd party inks are the cause of the problem and therefore the printer cannot be repaired free of charge. Is that what the consumer wants?

Quote
Re the laptop - especially the cheaper ones are notorious for giving wrong colour and luminosity information. Have you noticed how the whole appearance of the image changes each time you adjust the angle of the lid a bit? Also, the quality of the video cards and display in many of those laptops can give profiling quite a challenge. I learned an interesting sort-of-fix several weeks ago at least to deal with the angle of view issue. It is this: Go to Bill Atkinson's website and download his printer test target - the one with all those small colour images and the grayscale and colour gradients in it. Load it onto your display. Then angle the lid till the target looks about right (you can tell when it looks right quite easily by all the visual cues he's built-in there). That at least lets you know if you keep that angle for the lid and you anchor your head steady at the same angle of vision,  (i.e. don't get distracted by the subject matter  ), you at least have the appropriate viewing conditions to see the image as correctly as the state of the profile allows.

I'll try that. My practice is to get the screen at right angles to my gaze. The Adobe Gamma calibration seems to have got the degree of light and shade approximately right and I'm able to get some feed-back from the prints I make by going back into Adobe Gamma and readjusting the channels so that the skin tones on the screen match as closely as possible the skin tones on the print of the same image.

It's a rough approach but I'm getting results which are at least as accurate as the local digital image processing shops have been giving me with their massive, professional Fuji printers.
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Mark D Segal on November 13, 2007, 08:38:58 AM
Hi Ray,

It was the results from those massive Fuji printers that got me into digital imaging. I didn't take it seriously before 1999 because of the longevity issue. It was Epson's launching of the 2000P and a remark back in '99 from an imaging specialist who said to me - you know, we have all this sophisticated, automated process machinery here and the best technicians we could find to hire, but only YOU know what you saw and what you want in those images - and nowadays we have equipment to help get you started.............well started I got and it goes on and on.

Ah yes, Prime Ministers of Thailand - wouldn't have been a guy by the name of Thaksin would it? I'm sure you know - he was into telecoms (big time) - that huge glassy building on the banks of the Chao Prya - plus plus. I understand the family background is the silkworks in Chiang Mai; if it's the same folks, I didn't know they were into photo paper as well. Anyhow, the company may be fine, but not clear what stamp of quality that imparts to the product. Thailand is an amazing place. You can buy the best and the worst of the same-looking stuff without knowing the difference one iota till some time well down the road, isn't it?
Title: Epson court decision- cross posted
Post by: Ray on November 13, 2007, 11:18:05 AM
Quote
Ah yes, Prime Ministers of Thailand - wouldn't have been a guy by the name of Thaksin would it? I'm sure you know - he was into telecoms (big time) - that huge glassy building on the banks of the Chao Prya - plus plus. I understand the family background is the silkworks in Chiang Mai; if it's the same folks, I didn't know they were into photo paper as well. Anyhow, the company may be fine, but not clear what stamp of quality that imparts to the product. Thailand is an amazing place. You can buy the best and the worst of the same-looking stuff without knowing the difference one iota till some time well down the road, isn't it?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=152389\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hi Mark,
It probably was Thaksin who gave them the award. The company was established in 1999.

If I decide to stay in Thailand long time and perhaps rent a house, I'll pin 2 A4 prints on the outside wall directly exposed to the sun, one the 8 cents Hi-jet and the other the 59 cents Epson; accelerated fading. I'll let you know the result after a few months   .